South Africa’s readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the transformation of the broadcasting and print space, and the facilitation of the entry of new players into the media industry.
These were among the issues under discussion in the commission on Communications and the Battle of Ideas in the National Policy Conference (NPC) of the ANC currently underway at Nasrec , south of Johannesburg.
The commission, chaired by Comrade Jackson Mthembu, focused on strategic issues to be prioritized if South Africa is to fully reap the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The role of social media as a powerful global tool for the dissemination of information was also under discussion; with an acknowledgement by delegates that technological advancements have forever altered the political and electoral landscape.
The delegates also discussed the positioning of ICT as an enabler of economic activity across all sectors, and that in positioning South Africa as a key player, policy cohesion and seamless integration is critical.
To this end, the Commission expressed itself on the impact and desirability of separate Ministries charged with the responsibility of advancing various aspects of the ICT agenda, these being the Ministry of Communications and the Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications.
Failure of self-regulation by the print media came under sharp focus as evidenced by the withdrawal of the Independent Group and The New Age from the Ombudsman.
The Commission also expressed strong support for the establishment of a specialized University focusing on developing high level ICT skills that will develop citizens adequately.